A Minimalist Lifestyle: How To Get Started

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I have been working hard on decluttering and organizing. I am leaning towards a more minimalist style. I thought it would be hard. It has been liberating. Don’t get me wrong, this organization isn’t happening over a weekend. Although, it is happening at a faster pace than I imagined. I hope this article answers some of your questions about minimalism.

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Minimalism, at its core, is deciding to live a life full of meaning and happiness with only the fewest material possessions necessary. It doesn’t mean you have to fit everything you own in one suitcase, so don’t worry about that! Simplifying your life to enjoy the things you love and spend less time stressing about work or small decisions can be a pretty liberating feeling. You may find yourself surrounded by what makes you happy.

Plan your minimalistic beginning

If you want to begin the journey of minimalism, it’ll come as no surprise that you’ll need to clear some time for decluttering. This is the most time-consuming task so far, but it’s not a race. You can block out an hour every so often or spend 15 minutes per day to go through this process. As long as you can stay focused and minimize distractions, you should be able to complete the process

I have been using the Marie Kondo method of being thankful that my belongings have helped me with some aspects up until this point. There are a number of different options you can use to declutter your life. Choose which one clicks for you.

Speaking of ways to clean up, you can hand any clutter over handbags. This method is called the ‘4 bag method’.

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  • Bag 1 – Trash: things you’re not going to keep and can’t give away, sell, or recycle 

  • Bag 2 – Recycle: anything you no longer need but don’t want to put into the trash.

  • Bag 3 – Donations/things to sell: anything you can’t find a use for and want to drop off at your local thrift store or sell online

  • Bag 4 – Keep: everything you want to keep in your life

The process of decluttering can take hours, days, or even weeks. It takes some time and patience to make your way through the clutter. As you do this, try to process some of your feelings or emotions as you sort through things. Start with one room at a time

Once you’re happy with your newly tidied home, the next step is to maintain it. Commit to doing a quick sweep through the house once a week and collect up any clutter that has accumulated and deal with it immediately. What we mean by decluttering: pick up stray clothes and toys from the floor, tidy up bookshelves and other unnecessary things.

Set your intentions

One of the reasons you’re considering minimalism is because there are some items that you own that don’t add any value or happiness to your life. So ask yourself this – what are these items? Is it because they create stress? Waste money? Simplify cleaning routines? etc.

Take a seat and give it some thought. Write these down and put them somewhere you’ll see them more often, so you don’t forget about them. Make a vision board of how you want your space to look like and keep working towards it. It will be worth it when you sit back & take in how amazing it looks!

Whatever your reasons are, it’s smart to have a vision board close by which will help you stay on track with minimalism. This way, even if things get hard from time to time, you’ll still have your goals front of mind.

It’s easy to hold on to things we ‘need’ but in reality, often they may not be solving anything and may even be holding us back. Have you noticed how OK your life is without this object?

Some people may disagree with this approach, so take caution when judging. Here’s why an unlimited reading subscription for Kindle books is a great solution: you’ll have endless books in your home without the need to buy them! There are still some people out there who only want to read books the “old fashioned” way, without an eReader. But trust me – Kindle Unlimited gives you access to tons of books for free! Just think of it as a library, but on your phone 😉


The first step is, to be honest with yourself and examine what you want to wear. If it’s been more than six months since you last wore something, it may be time to make room. You’re in control over what you own, but minimalism is about getting the most value out of what you have and letting someone else enjoy the things you don’t need.

Research charities in your local area

You’ve done all the decluttering – now what? There are loads of local charities who’d be happy to take your donations. Find out where they’re looking for items and if any of your old things would suit them. Volunteering is a good way to help others and is accomplished by visiting women’s shelters, homeless shelters, foster facilities, and anywhere else locally that you think your goods would make the best impact. It always feels good to know you’re giving back!

Cultivate the minimalist mindset

Minimalism is not a competition. Remember the purpose that drives your decision; it’s the reason you’re reading this right now. Do you strive for more time and freedom away from household chores? Why are you clearing your space? Do these objects really serve a purpose? Keep this in mind throughout your journey. It will help you stay focused on the real reasons behind why you started being so disciplined with your thoughts and actions.

Don’t preach

Deciding to adopt a more minimalist lifestyle is your decision. It’s personal and doesn’t mean you can tell other people what they should do. Everybody has the right to live how they please, no matter how many physical things they may or may not own.

If you’re trying to decide what to change your life around by focusing on the things that matter most, it might not be a good idea to start pushing those same changes on those close to you. This will only create conflict and is the opposite of how you want people treating each other. Instead, try educating or inspiring them as such changes without forcing such changes. Someday, the favor may be returned.

Stop shopping!

Minimalism only works if you stick with it and that includes not making any impulse purchases. The reason those big red ‘sale’ posters are in shop windows is that stores know we’ll go in for a look. Consider if you would have gone into the store even without its sale sticker out front. Think of how much money & space you would save by resisting the allure of that sale.

Shopping online sounds great, especially if it means you’ll be able to revisit the things you have in your shopping cart at a later date. Plus, this will help remind you not to impulse-buy because you’ll have a chance to reconsider whether or not a purchase is a worthwhile one..

If you do buy something (like a new piece of clothing), get rid of another to make room. This gives you space and an opportunity to figure out whether or not this purchase is something you really want. Knowing that you’ve got to throw something out when you get home can really make you consider if this is an item that you truly want or not.

Be strict with yourself

Is it the last time you used that item last year? Have you ever worn this scarf? Ask an honest friend – they’re the ones who will tell you “I’ve never seen that before” and it’ll open your eyes to reality. If you still have the tags on or you don’t know where it came from, then you know what to do!

Breathe through it, so you don’t get overwhelmed

Your goal in pursuing a more minimalistic lifestyle is to make your life better. Stay focused and determined, and when you do this, you’ll be happy with all the simple things in life that make it worthwhile. Set space for free time, spend time with friends and family, and ultimately achieve happiness.

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4 thoughts on “A Minimalist Lifestyle: How To Get Started

  • Thanks for the article. When I was younger I wanted to save stuff. Now that I’m older I want to start getting rid of more and more.

    Reply
  • The ‘4 bag method’ sounds very helpful.

    Reply
    • Shelly,
      It’s been very helpful. When I’m in a room working on it, I have bags all over. Michael is loving it!

      Reply

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